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Trade Union Development in Israel Leads Middle East

Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the development of trade union and employer movement has reached a level which, in practice, embraces all forms of occupational life. This was reported in an International Labor Organization survey of freedom of association and industrial relations in the Middle East, distributed here today.

In Israel, the survey comments, the right of occupational association is neither guaranteed nor restricted by legislation, “but is exercised as an established and traditional practice.” Trade unions are, in fact, organized under a “general law” which provides simply that “any number of persons may establish a society for any lawful purpose.” The survey notes that Israel’s ‘trade union system covers all branches of the economy, both public and private, and the liberal professions, and that government workers are extensively organized.

In many instances, collective agreements contain provisions whereby the employer recognizes the right to organize and bargain collectively. “In short, “the survey states, “without any intervention of the law, the Histadrut, in particular, has attained its objective of embracing in one organizational structure both urban and rural workers of all trades and professions.”

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